As the first day of school gets closer and closer, many parents are wondering how to make that transition from the lazy, hazy days of summer to back to school. Here are a couple of important pointers from Akiva School Counsellors Robyn Schreter and Jaimee Kravitz to help facilitate this transition as painlessly as possible for elementary school children… and for their parents too!
1. Get reacquainted: As summer winds down, organize play dates with school friends your child hasn’t seen all summer. This will help them reconnect and be an icebreaker before the first day of school. Everyone is a little anxious on the first day and a friendly face goes a long way.
2. Adjust routines: Routines change and are usually more lax over the summer. Getting back into regular bedtime routine, limiting screen time before bed, school year routines should start a few days before. If it takes a bit longer, that’s okay. Teachers are forgiving and know the transition is harder for some kids.
3. Practice organization: Sit down with your child to create a homework schedule and involve them in the process. Have your child take ownership of their work builds good study habits. Create a homework space that is quiet and appropriate for homework time.
4. Beware of over programming: Allowing kids to have unstructured playtime (preferably outdoors) is important and has so many benefits for social and emotional well-being. It helps regulate emotions and problem solving skills for your children which are useful, transferable skills for school.
5. Trust your school: Be confident your child’s school is doing what’s in their best interest. Class placements can be stressful and create more anxiety for the parent than the child. Show your child that you support and trust the school and they will too. This helps build resiliency and coping skills. Be mindful of your anxieties and be aware of how you may transfer them onto your child.